NHS London has been criticised for delaying the opening of a branch surgery in Kingston, despite the cooperation and competition panel having already recommended its go-ahead.

The panel ruled before Christmas that a decision by NHS Kingston not to allow the Churchill Medical Centre to open a branch surgery was inconsistent with the NHS’s principles and rules for cooperation and competition.

It recommended that the Department of Health and NHS London should allow the opening of the branch surgery.

However, NHS London chief executive Ruth Carnall has told the Churchill Medical Centre that the strategic health authority will assess the impact of the ruling before allowing the opening.

In a letter to the practice, Ms Carnall said: “We are reviewing the report from the cooperation and competition panel and would like to consider its recommendations and the impact on the wider health economy.”

Practice partner Charles Alessi said in a letter to HSJ he felt they were being “subject to a second investigation of the facts”, despite the panel’s initial investigation having been “exhaustive and comprehensive”.